This week, if:book Australia is proud to publish a series of remixes from its 24-Hour Book, Willow Pattern. The source material for the remixes goes well beyond the finished text of the book to include the entire database of edits collected over the project's duration. Sandra Thibodeaux has created a poem inspired by the data from Willow Pattern and the true story of a missing child.
I was inspired by the following elements of Willow Patterns: the missing girl, her red dress, the things in her pockets, absence, loss, a police officer who is haunted by his own incompetence.
I have long been disturbed by the story of a missing child at Borroloola who was eventually found, deceased. The death occurred in 2010 and the 2011 inquest report can be found here. Please note that the name of the deceased is mentioned in the findings.
I have written this poem with a sense of frustration that the little boy's murderer is still at-large due mainly to police mishandling of the case. It will take the death of another child to uncover the murderer, and this is truly tragic. As Superintendent Kristopher Evans said in his public apology, 'The community is entitled to expect better from their police force and on this occasion they didn't receive what they should have got.'
My condolences to family, friends and the community of Borroloola, and my apologies if this poem causes pain. My hope is that the poem will serve as a reminder to the police force about due care and the necessity to keep the investigation alive.
— Sandra Thibodeaux
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.futureofthebook.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Thibodeaux_Sandra_by_Panos_Couros.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Sandra Thibodeaux is a poet and playwright. She has published three collections of poetry, with the latest of these being Extinctions (PressPress, 2010). In 2011, Sandra was Australian Poetry’s Poet-in-Residence. Sandra has written over a dozen plays that have been staged as part of festivals and broadcast on Radio National. Her latest play is The Lion Tamer, winner of the Darwin Festival Script Award, 2012, that was recently produced at Brown’s Mart, directed by Alex Galeazzi. Photograph of Sandra by Panos Couros.[/author_info] [/author]